31 December 2019 04:36

Queensland Bushfires in Australia Queensland

NSW bushfires: Three missing people from Cobargo and Belowra on south coast feared dead

Almost 100 blazes continue to burn across NSW on Tuesday with conditions set to deteriorate in the afternoon Eight fires were burning at an "emergency" level by 1pm, including the 226,000-hectare Currowan blaze on the NSW South Coast, the 31,000ha Clyde Mountain fire near Batemans Bay, the 26,000ha Green Valley fire east of Albury and the 64,000-ha Countegany fire east of Cooma Authorities are concerned that bushfires burning in Victoria could jump the border into southern NSW after being fanned by a southerly. The death toll rose from eight to nine when 28-year-old volunteer firefighter and expectant father Samuel McPaul died on Monday night. More than 900 homes were confirmed destroyed by the NSW Rural Fire Service on Monday. THE WARNINGS Tuesday's fire danger rating is extreme in the ACT, the southern ranges and the Illawarra/Shoalhaven region. Fire danger is rated as severe in surrounding regions, including the far south coast, the Monaro alpine region, the southern slopes, the central ranges, the greater Hunter, and the greater Sydney region.

FORECAST Bushfire conditions are expected to deteriorate on Tuesday as temperatures climb and a southerly wind change sweeps across the state. Temperatures around the state are expected to peak on Tuesday, with forecasts of more than 40C across western Sydney and in regional NSW. The Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve fireworks display has been approved by the RFS. Three missing people in fires burning on NSW south coast are feared dead, a day after one of the state's volunteer firefighters died in a truck accident. The three civilians are unaccounted for in NSW south coast townships of Cobargo and Belowra.

A volunteer firefighter who died when his truck flipped amid a "fire tornado" at a NSW-Victoria border town was expecting his first child in May. Samuel McPaul died on Monday just before 6pm when the fire truck he was travelling in crashed at Jingellic, about 110km east of Albury in NSW. An emotional Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Tuesday said the 10-tonne truck was hit by winds so extreme at the 26,000-hectare Green Valley fire that it flipped on its roof. Play Video NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons with an update on NSW fires. NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons with an update on NSW fires. Mr Fitzsimmons later said three people - two in Cobargo and one in the remote Belowra - were on Tuesday afternoon missing and feared dead.

Cobargo, to the west of Bermagui, has been aflame for much of Tuesday, with multiple buildings on the main street on fire and RFS crews struggling to save properties. The fire affecting Cobargo is the Badja Forest Rd fire near Cooma, which is rapidly moving eastward and was predicted to be among the blazes on Tuesday to expand most significantly, along with a fire in the Snowy Valleys. Almost 100 blazes continue to burn across NSW, with dozens uncontained and eight on Tuesday at "emergency" level. RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and Prime Minister Scott Morrison speak to the media during a press conference. Extreme fire danger is forecast for the Southern Ranges, Illawarra and ACT on New Year's Eve while surrounding regions - including Sydney, the Hunter and the far south coast - are set for severe fire danger.

The Holbrook-based Mr McPaul's social media accounts state he went to school in Broulee on the NSW south coast and took up animal science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Mr McPaul is the third NSW volunteer firefighter to die this bushfire season. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, meanwhile, said in a statement on Tuesday he had spoken to Megan and that Mr McPaul was "the best of us". 'You could hear it roaring like the ocean': Main street of South Coast town ravaged The main street of the Bega Valley town of Cobargo has been devastated by an out-of-control bushfire which has left two people missing, feared dead. RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said dozens of buildings had been destroyed and two people were feared dead in the town RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said he expected the "significant impact" of the blaze had damaged or destroyed "dozens" of buildings in the historic village. He said a total of three people were unaccounted for and feared dead on the New South Wales South Coast — two "potentially" in Cobargo and another at Belowra. "I was up at about 3:00am due to all the commotion of people coming and going there," Ms Wilson said. Long-term residents Brenda Whiffen and her husband spent the night working to protect their property after embers brought the fire through about 1:00am. You could hear it roaring like the ocean," she said. Together the pair saved two homes on the property, about three kilometres from Cobargo's town centre, but their farmland and other buildings were destroyed. Ms Whiffen said she was deeply saddened by the damage to the town, particularly the ravaged main street. "This is our old home town — I've lived here since I was six, my husband's lived here all his life, my kids were reared here," she said. Susanne Lewington, who owns the Breakfast Creek Vineyard in Bermagui, near Cobargo, was forced to evacuate her property at 5:00am. She said the drought had left her property without any significant water bodies that may have helped dampen the blaze. Topics: bushfire, disasters-and-accidents, fires, cobargo-2550, nsw In our Health Alert tonight, if you're ringing in the New Year tomorrow night, there are potential hazards you should be aware of. It's important that you keep track of how much alcohol you drink along with how much water you consume. What many people don't realize is that alcohol is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration. But if you drink enough water, you'll stay hydrated and your risk of suffering a cold-related complication like frostbite or hypothermia is reduced. Question: Speaking of poor choices, New Year's is known for road tragedies, any tips about road safety? Experts at the National Safety Council estimate that over the New Year more than 400 people will die. Now 2019 is about to come to a close, so I'd like to wish you all a safe and fun New Year's Eve. And I'll see you in 2020! But it's also important to be aware that along with holiday cheer and bustle comes some life-threatening risks and dangerous behaviors, particularly for our youth. The average American sees a 100 percent increase in their alcoholic drinking during the holidays. Eggnog, mulled wine, and champagne toasts may seem fun and innocent enough, but they also lead to more driving under the influence and increased risk of road injury and death. Hundreds of lives are lost each holiday season as a result of drunk driving. In the one week between Christmas and New Year's, 300 people die each year in drunk driving crashes. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among youth, and minors are even more likely to face dangerous choices during the holidays. The holidays, a time for friends and family to come together, are unfortunately also a time for activities that can put minors at risk. Most underage drinkers get alcohol from parties and other social settings; often these parties are at the homes of family or friends. While many adults have the wrong perception that drinking at home is safer than doing it elsewhere, the house party has been found to be one of the highest-risk environments for underage drinking. San Antonio has taken action to combat underage drinking and reduce the risks presented at house parties. Under our social host ordinance, which was passed unanimously and went into effect in 2017, adults are liable for underage drinking on their property and/or for providing alcohol to minors. While Texas has a strong statewide law on the books that classifies giving minors alcohol as a misdemeanor, our local civil ordinance gives law enforcement a powerful and proven tool for cracking down on underage drinking. And research indicates that social host laws are among the most effective and recommended ways to reduce dangerous underage drinking. In addition, as San Antonians open their doors to family and friends or come together on New Year's Eve, they may also consider the following: Resist the pressure or presumption to drink alcohol at every social setting. Alcohol is not a requirement for holiday cheer. Alcoholic drinks shouldn't be the only option. New Year's Eve can be fun, memorable, and celebratory without alcohol.